Ethics in medicine
- By: Susmita Barman
Is modern medicine, preoccupied with disease and treatment, undermining ethical concerns? Are our priorities misplaced? Are we leaning towards fame and fortune, rather than basic human disposition?
I set off for the ethical guided tour with the American Medical Association's virtual mentor (www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3040.html). The site familiarises young doctors with the law, humanities, and bioethics. Each month, the site deals with a “hot area” in medical ethics from all possible perspectives. For instance, the August 2003 issue was dedicated to problems in paediatrics. Cases are presented-one described how a specialist treated a sick child in spite of parental opposition steeped in religious dogma-and then different experts comment. A presentation shows how doctors should make decisions when parents and children are scared of a particular treatment. In Case in Health Law, you get to know about the legal footholds. The archive stores plenty of such complicated ethical dilemmas-ranging from end of life